Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) personnel joined representatives from St John Ambulance, Hovertravel and the military for the thank you presentation, organised by the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service (IOWAS). Each representative was given a framed photograph to commemorate their unwavering support when it was most needed.
A team of HIWFRS firefighters trained and worked as ambulance drivers due to an increased demand on the Island’s ambulance service.
Joe Smyth, IOW NHS Trust Chief Operating Officer, said:
“The ambulance service said to their colleagues ‘we need some help’ and the partners said ‘we’re on our way’.
“That’s the great thing about the Island community, we are here for each other. This presentation is about the ambulance service saying a personal thank you and showing their appreciation for the support they have received.
“Huge thanks to all the agencies and I hope we can continue to support them.”
HIWFRS Station Manager, Sean Harrison, added:
“I have been responsible for co-ordinating the fire service response to the ambulance service and working with the NHS team has been fantastic.
“They asked for help at a time when they were in crisis and we were able to switch that help on.
“They removed any barriers for us, they provided training that was suitable for our teams and made sure risk assessments were followed so it was such an easy process for us to continue our partnership working.”
As a mark of our continued support for the NHS, HIWFRS presented ambulance service colleagues with a framed print of a drawing by firefighter Sophie Exton-Woodford, with the message ‘We’ve got your back’. The print will now take pride of place in the ambulance station.
Head of Ambulance, Victoria White, added:
“On behalf of the ambulance service I want to thank all our partners for not only providing the support of staff on the ground but also for the manner all colleagues have conducted themselves.
It has been absolutely exemplary and is hugely appreciated in the ambulance service.”
Colleagues from across HIWFRS have gone above and beyond to help others during the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as driving ambulances across both Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, our personnel have volunteered as vaccinators and NHS helpers and firefighters have worked in intensive care units in four hospitals across the south. Basingstoke Fire Station has been transformed into a vaccination centre, while remaining fully operational, and HIWFRS has continued to provide full fire and rescue cover across all areas of the communities we serve.